A great show, with many lovable and comic moments. Jonathan Harris and Billy Mumy are, of course, the winners of this show along with the Robot. The flamboyancy of the show is suited to the times, along with similar shows such as "Land of the Giants", "Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "The Time Tunnel", "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", and even animated shows such as "Thunderbirds" - if you like those sort of things.
It is interesting that in the UK "Doctor Who" had begun 3 years earlier, and would be into Patrick Troughton's era come "Lost in Space" final season. And 3 years after "Lost in Space" we get the first of "Star Trek" from the US, with a whole new direction in space-based sci-fi. Same old backlit, sandy sets, but with the added bonus of planet-hopping and a more adult theme. "Lost in Space" fits comfortable between the two shows, and never comes across as "American" - it's a show that appeals strongly to British mentality. The distinct lack of political correctness, scientific accuracy, and combination of adult and childish wit gives "Lost in Space" a pleasant theme.
It has been recognised, by viewers and the cast, that season 1 is the more serious of the 3 - the scenarios are more based on peril and the full-cast, whilst seasons 2 and 3 slip into more fantastical, less sci-fi slapstick comedy based mainly around Doctor Smith, Will Robinson and their Robot, who is totally changed from season 1. Some of the latter 2 seasons can be a little embarrassing to watch - dragons and knights in outer space, for example. Irwin Allen has also been recognised for his ability to create a good show, with high expenditure from the outset, but then reuse props and costumes so heavily, they become cliché - every alien has the same spaceship, just rigged a little differently on set; every weapon or gizmo has been used multiple times as a different device. Most annoying is the "explosion" effect when things appear or disappear in the form of an "alien teleport".
The episodes are clear, nice quality sound - not certain if they're been remastered, I think not. The box (open front version) lacks any printed material, though episode lists are printed on each case. There are a few extras - radio interviews (J.Harris' is great), the unaired pilot (which was broken up and reused for the first few aired episodes), and a marketing pitch, which is canny enough. Interesting also, the pilot did not include Smith or the Robot, the ship was called "Gemini 12" instead of "Jupiter 2", and the plot is a little different - there are not nearly as many visual changes between the pilot and the first shows, as "Star Trek"s pilot and shows underwent, however. Smith was a wise addition, the Robot also added strength, although the shows would have done better to maintain the seriousness of being "lost in space" element that was less apparent come season 2. Guy Williams (John Robinson) is well known to have disliked the "campy" direction the show took, and the resulting focus on only 3 characters, most shows. I particular like, however, the space-based episodes between each new planet. The special effects are quite good, for the 60s, as the show had a decent budget. The planets do all look much the same, though, as do most "Star Trek" planets filmed in studios with polystyrene rocks and plastic plants re-assorted each week around raked sand and a still picture landscape backdrop. A good imagination goes a long way, and the show is none the less enjoyable despite its weaknesses.
So why was the set ruined by Fox? Okay - firstly, each DVD menu lacks a "Play All" option - you have to select each episode (4 per disc) then click "Play Episode", followed by "Main Menu" and repeat the process to view the next. A little annoying if you want to watch a full disc in one sitting. Secondly, on season 2 discs, once you play each episode you have to sit through a "Copyright" for EVERY episode - which usually come ONCE at the END of a disc, not the beginning. Finally, on season 3, EVERY disc has that bloody awful and evasive "You wouldn't steal a..." crap (the people who designed it want burning alive!) followed by a further "FAİT" piracy warning, then the "20th Century Fox" intro (though that's typically on every disc) before the menu is available. I'm one of those people who takes great personal offence at having to sit through several copyright/piracy warnings when I've bought the product and it's on my time for greedy studios to insult the integrity of the buyer, when they tend to screw up the product more by not giving us more extras in place of their bombastic warning messages. By now you'd think they'd realise that most pirates REMOVE them, and so it's only genuine buyers who suffer the insult. In short: They "foxed" it up!
As a result of an abundance of product-evasive warnings it loses 1-star, and modern-day Fox can go to Hell. The show itself, however, was produced in the mid-60s by an energetic cast - just a few years after man had first ventured into orbit - but pre-moon landings are deserving of thumbs up for their efforts, at least on an entertainment level. It doesn't quite take us "where no man has gone before", but it will certainly take you where no space family has gone before.
Wish it had gone on for a couple more years!